FIFTY years ago this week, the UK woke up to a brand new music service from the BBC.

Radio 1 was launched at 6.55 am on Saturday, 30 September 1967. The first voice heard on air was Tony Blackburn and the first complete record played was Flowers in the Rain by The Move.

The initial rota of staff included now well-known names Ed ‘Stewpot’ Stewart, John Peel, Jimmy Young, Kenny Everett and Terry Wogan. Annie Nightingale, who joined in 1970, was Britain’s first female DJ and is now the longest serving presenter.

In 1973, the Radio 1 Club broadcasted its show from John Hunt Of Everest School in Popley. The DJ was Ed Stewart. Pupils were encouraged to get behind the microphone and experience live radio.

Graham Seaman, who is now a DJ himself at BBC Wiltshire recalls being on the pop panel that day: “I remember we were let out of lessons early for a rehearsal and mini audition. I got to be on the panel and remember Ed Stewart introducing me on-air as Graham ‘Bill’ Seaman because I was the only one boy on the panel! I remember at the time thinking it was a bit of an odd thing to say bearing in mind my own name ‘Graham’ should have been a giveaway. I remember being incredibly nervous.

“One specific thing I do remember is that the entire broadcast desk and turntables, no computer digital playout systems back then, was that the floors were bouncy and the rostrum was wooden so a number of times the records would jump. I distinctly recall the producer of the programme frantically running around trying to stop the kids, who made up the audience, from dancing too hard and knocking the needles off the records!”

There will be more Radio 1 memories connected with Basingstoke next week when other DJ’s came to town.